Brent Barker was hired in November of 2011 as Faulkner's head football coach, the Eagles' third in the five-year history of the program.
Also serving as Faulkner's athletic director, the Texas native looks to turnaround the program's 10-41 overall record. Barker was an ultra-successful high school football and baseball coach in talent-rich Texas before arriving at Faulkner in 2001 to lead the Eagles' baseball program. The former Texas Christian University infielder took the Faulkner program to new heights in his seven years at the helm before becoming the Eagles' athletic director in 2005.
"Brent Barker brings to the job years of coaching experience both at the high school and college level" Faulkner president Billy D. Hilyer said upon the hiring. "He was an outstanding athlete himself in multiple sports in high school and, although he could have played college football, he opted to play baseball at TCU. But, what really excites me about Brent is his enthusiasm, his people skills and the personal interest he takes in his players. Also, he is a tireless worker. He has a passion to win - the right way."
Barker takes over a team that finished the 2011 season with a 3-7 record, despite leading the nation in total offense at the NAIA level. The Eagles averaged 44 points and 520 yards of offense a game, yet allowed a whopping 53 points per outing.
"I am looking forward to working with all of our fine young men who play football at Faulkner," said Barker, 47. "We plan to put together a defensive staff that will match the success of our offense. When we accomplish that, our football program will be at a totally different level. We feel that we can compete nationally, and that is our goal. Ultimately, however, we want to represent Faulkner University in a Christ-like way both on the field and off of it."
In Texas, Barker was an assistant coach for eight seasons, including a three-year stint at national powerhouse Southlake Carroll. During his time at Southlake, the Dragons won 77 regular season games in a row and in the midst of a 33-game win streak won a state championship. As the head coach at Southwest Christian School in Fort Worth, Barker posted a 42-17 record en route to a pair of district championships and a state championship game berth.
Barker earned a bachelor's degree in Education from TCU. He is married to the former Belinda McLeod of Ft. Worth, Texas, and the couple has two children - Brooke, age 21, and Bridget, age 18.
Steve Cheatham, with extensive coaching experience at both the collegiate and high school levels, has been hired as Faulkner's defensive coordinator.
Cheatham's resume is impressive, having spent time on the staffs at Clemson and Ole Miss at the NCAA Division I level, and at Division III Birmingham Southern. He also spent a total of five years at East Central Community College in Decatur, Miss., where he spent four years as an assistant coach before taking the head coaching position in 2008.
"Coach Cheatham is a super hire for Faulkner University," said Duke head coach David Cutcliffe, who led the Ole Miss program when the new Eagles' defensive coordinator was there. "He will do a great job on the field, and he will have a great impact on the student-athletes off the field as well. He has great character and is a great football man."
A cancer survivor, Cheatham, 52, stepped away from coaching for a season to tend to his health before returning to the field as an assistant at Birmingham Southern in 2010. Last season he was an assistant at Newton County High School in Philadelphia, Miss.
After earning a bachelor's degree from Mississippi State University, Cheatham earned a reputation as one of the most highly thought of high school coaches in the state of Mississippi. He spent a total of 17 years at powerhouse Neshoba High School in Mississippi - 15 years as an assistant and two as the team's head coach. He later earned a master's degree from Clemson, where he served as a graduate assistant coach on the Tigers staff.
Cheatham and his wife Brenda have a daughter, Lindsey Burkes, and one grandchild with another on the way.
Quarterbacks coach Nick Coleman joined the Faulkner staff in the fall of 2011, having spent the 2010 season as an offensive graduate assistant at Middle Tennessee State University.
Coleman was a quarterback for Middle Tennessee State from 2006-2009, and was a part of the Blue Raider team that set a Sun Belt Conference record for victories in a season with 10 in 2009. As as a graduate assistant at MTSU in 2010, Coleman was part of a staff that guided the Blue Raiders to back-to-back bowl games for the first time in the program's history.
In his first year at Faulkner, Coleman played a key role in the development of sophomore quarterback Josh Hollingsworth, who led the nation in most all passing statistical categories.
Coleman holds a bachelor's degree in Exercise Science and a master's degree in Sports Management, both from Middle Tennessee State. He is married to the former Kelly Goethals of Jackson, Tenn.
Brandon Slay just completed his first season as Faulkner's offensive line coach, having joined the Eagles' staff after coaching at Tarleton State University in Texas, his alma mater.
Slay played on the offensive line at Tarleton State from 2006-2009, helping guide the NCAA Division II Texans to a pair of Lone Star Conference championships. He was a graduate assistant at Tarltown in the fall of 2010 and the spring of 2011, working with the running backs and the offensive line.
Last season, Faulkner's offensive line was superb, providing the protection for record-setting quarterback Josh Hollingsworth and opening holes for a talented stable of running backs as the Eagles led the nation in total offense.
Slay graduated from Georgetown High School in Georgetown, Texas, before earning his bachelor's degree in Exercise Sports Studies. He also has a master's degree in Education, with an emphasis in Kinesiology. He and his wife, the former Laci Crais, were married in May.
Eric Folmar just completed his second season at Faulkner as a defensive graduate assistant coach, having played for the Eagles in 2010 prior to suffering a career-ending knee injury. He works with the Eagles' secondary
Folmar graduated from Edgewood Academy in 2003 before joining the United States Marine Corps, where he served from 2005-2009. As a Marine, Folmar was on the West Coast All-Marine football team. Prior to arriving at Faulkner, he was a baseball and football assistant coach at Edgewood, having been a part of two state baseball championships and a runner-up finish in football.
Folmar will earn a Sports Management degree from Faulkner in the summer of 2012.
Charlie Knapp has just completed his fifth season as Faulkner's Director of Football Operations, and also serves as an assistant coach working with the running backs.
Knapp, who owns a bachelor's degree in History from Faulkner, was a four-year letterman at Mosley High School in Panama City, Fla., having played linebacker and strong safety. He was a volunteer assistant at Alabama Christian Academy for the 1998 and 1999 seasons before accepting a job in Faulkner's admissions department, where he worked for eight years prior to joining the football staff in 2007.
Knapp and his wife Julie are the parents of two sons - Austin and Cooper
Blake Boren, a Faulkner graduate who has assisted at perennial power Hoover High School in Alabama and at Newton County High School in Mississippi, returns to the Eagles' program to work with wide receivers.
Boren was a part of Faulkner's coaching staff during its first two seasons of intercollegiate competition, assisting as the running backs coach in 2007 and the wide receivers coach in 2008. He coached wide receivers for a pair of seasons at Hoover High School, and was part of the staff that led the Bucs to the 2009 6A state championship. He joined his father at Newton County High School this past season, serving as the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.
Boren and his wife, the former Amanda Pence, were married in May of 2012.
Charlie Boren, who has built an ultra-successful high school coaching career mainly in north Alabama, joined the Faulkner staff in December of 2011 and will be working with the Eagle defensive ends. He most recently was the head coach at Newton County High School in Mississippi, where he guided the Rams to the state playoffs.
Boren's head coaching career spans 18 years, having led the programs at Midfield, Montevallo, Bibb County and Saint Clair high schools in Alabama. His 113-81 record as a head coach in Alabama ranked him 10th among active head coaches in the Birmingham metro area. Four of his teams finished their seasons ranked in the top 10 and in addition to having 17 players selected to all-state teams he had 43 players earn college scholarships.
Boren and his wife Linda have been married for 29 years and they have three children - Blake, Ashlyn and Meagan.
Keith Houston, who played collegiate football in the Southeastern Conference at Ole Miss, has joined the Faulkner football staff as the defensive backs coach. He has spend the last three seasons as an assistant coach at East Central Community College in Decatur, Miss., where he also served as the strength and conditioning coach.
Houston was a four-year letterman at Ole Miss from 2003-2006, having played for Rebel head coaches Houston Nutt and Ed Orgeron. He started his career as a safety, but was moved to tight end when Orgeron took over the program. His primary responsibilities will be to work with Faulkner's cornerbacks and safeties, as well as recruiting.
Houston earned degrees in Criminal Justice and African American Studies from Ole Miss. He and his wife Deidra have two children - Miley, age 2, and Keith Jr., age 1.
Jamie Carter, who played at the University of Alabama and in the National Football League, joined the staff in December of 2011 and will be working with Faulkner's defensive tackles.
Carter most recently was an assistant coach at Oak Mountain High School in Birmingham, Ala., where he served as the tight ends coach and the strength and conditioning coordinator. He previously coached the defensive line at Marietta College in Ohio and John Carroll Catholic High School in Birmingham.
As a player for the Crimson Tide, Carter was a four-year letterman and a member of the 1999 Southeastern Conference championship team. He played in three bowl games at Alabama - the Outback Bowl following the 1996 season, the Music City Bowl following the 1997 season and the Orange Bowl following the 1999 season.